Meet the Maker - Raegen Knight

Meet the Maker - Raegen Knight

Raegen Knight

Meet Raegen Knight, Jewelry maker and metalsmith

Raegen is the sole designer and maker behind this small collection of handmade, modern basics. She studied metal arts, along with printmaking and painting, at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston. After graduating, she moved to Sydney, Australia to attend graduate school at the College of Fine Arts and worked in museum administration at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney and The J. Paul Getty Trust in Los Angeles. She launched this capsule collection in 2016 to offer graceful, modern classics for women with a quiet sense of style and a commitment to sustainable materials.

Read her story below

How did you get into making jewelry?  

I didn’t really like elementary school that much, but I always loved art class. It felt like the only time when the world dropped away and I could be with myself. I went to art school with the idea of studying fashion, but I realized that I hated sewing. Luckily, I discovered a love for printmaking, painting, metalsmithing, and art history - so yeah, I was still in the right spot. 

Has rejection ever affected your creative process?

During my second semester of college, we had a group critique in my metals class. The professor looked over my work and said it had no personality. I remember feeling really hurt by that, but it also pushed me to embrace myself more. My design aesthetic is super simple and minimal, which is what resonates most with the people that like it. I realized that qualities that might look like flaws to someone else, could be some of your biggest strengths. 

"Whatever you’re doing, keep going - you just need to find your people."

What does your workspace look like? Are you hyper-organized, a little messy?

I’m usually afraid to show people my workspace because I feel like it has a crazy hoarder’s vibe, which is the complete opposite of the design aesthetic I’m trying to create. It’s basically a corner of my garage - two work benches, a soldering station, and tons of tools wedged in between skateboards, surfboards, and everything else you find crammed into a garage. My benches are a disaster. I have a couple of rolling shelves and I try to keep wholesale orders organized in big trays, but it’s honestly chaos. People that know me are always a little shocked when they see it because I'm fairly organized in other parts of my life. I think the clutter and disorganization comes from the anticipation and sense of urgency I feel about making stuff. I’m always more excited to do metalsmithing than spend time cleaning up, and it shows. 

"My favorite day-off activities have always been museums and public gardens. The Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden at Cal State Long Beach is really cool and I love the mint agave matcha from Rose Park Roasters."

 

What holds more value for you: creativity or knowledge? 

I think they’re both important, and it’s good to remember that they can also both be learned. Humans are innately creative. We can definitely lose touch with our creativity, but if the desire is there, we can get it back. That same desire also gives us the drive to learn and to be creative, so I’d probably place passion as the thing I value most.

"Traveling and being an art student again is definitely my happy place, my ideal place to live would be everywhere, studying with local artists and crafters along the way."

If you could move to any other place in this or any universe where would you go? 

Last January, I went to Tokyo for seven days to learn raising with a local silversmith. Raising is a metalsmithing technique used to make vessels by repeatedly heating and hammering sheet metal. I  also did a printmaking workshop, shibori dyeing, and glassmaking.